Science can be scary.
It has its own foreign language, it’s seen to have little relevance outside the laboratory and it’s associated with awkward lab-coat-wearing geeks who have loved physics since infancy. Surely it’s only those of us who want to work in science who should bother learning about it?
Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb thinks not, instead proposing the view that:
“an education in science is valuable beyond the labs and fields of research”.
Rather than think about science students as a being on a conveyor belt to a research career, perhaps an education in science could be seen as having a broader value?
Although I have been a working scientist, and am now a science writer, science is not just my chosen career. It frames every aspect of my life. The way I think, process and act on information, make sense of my world and even parent is a direct result of my science training. That’s not to say I don’t make mistakes, or have emotions take over on occasion. It just means I see science as a critical part of education, and something that provides me with tools that can be applied on a daily basis.
As National Science Week approached in 2012, I began wondering whether it would be possible to formalise how science informs daily life in ways which don’t necessarily have a focus on equipment, displays, lectures and laboratories. Is it possible to insert a little more celebration of science into every day of the year?
Each day for 365 days — from National Science Week 2012 to National Science Week 2013 — I posted a reflection on the science in and of my life. That was Phase 1 of ScienceforLife.365. It was exhausting, wonderful and very valuable as a writing development tool.
Now on a weekly basis, I continue to post on the science in my life as the fifth year of this project commences.
Science for life. 365 is also on Facebook: please follow the link to register an official ‘like’.